Torrington castle is taking shape

AS Torrington prepares for another monster bonfire year, a new castle is taking shape on the town Commons. Torrington s original castle was built in the Middle Ages, but legend has it that the structure fell foul of the town planners of the day and had t

AS Torrington prepares for another monster bonfire year, a new castle is taking shape on the town Commons.

Torrington's original castle was built in the Middle Ages, but legend has it that the structure fell foul of the town planners of the day and had to be pulled down.

The growing new castle has the permission of modern-day council planners, but it will grace the skyline even more briefly. It is destined to be razed to the ground on August Bank Holiday this year.

The tale of the two castles is being told by the Torrington Cavaliers charity group, who are turning to history to celebrate their own 40th anniversary.


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They have already been working for more than a year planning and building the 100 feet long and 40 feet high Medieval-style structure. When complete, it will be the centrepiece of their 13th monster bonfire on the commons on August 28.

The last big bonfire was a spectacular replica of HMS Victory, which was burned in August 2005.

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The events have attracted huge crowds, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity and highlighted the Torrington name across the world.

This year's castle is being completely constructed from timber, but the castle walls will be painted to look like stonework. It will include a working drawbridge, portcullis, an open courtyard, ramparts, an armour room, stables, a banquet hall and possibly even a moat. Shields and swords are also being created to help with the decoration.

Cavaliers' chairman Chris Stacey said that they are grateful for the support they have received from local people and businesses, including donations of materials and paint.

"While we are thankful for the help we receive, I would ask people not to just leave materials at the bonfire site as this does cause problems," he said. "If anyone has anything they feel might be of help, I would ask that they contact me first on (01805) 622203

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary bonfire, this year will also see the publication of a specially written book recounting the four decades of the Cavaliers. It is being launched at The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington on Easter Saturday, April 3.

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